Michal Handzuš (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈmixal ˈɦandzuʃ]; born 11 March 1977) is a Slovak former professional ice hockey centre. Handzuš played for hometown club, HC ’05 Banská Bystrica of the Slovak Extraliga before joining the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1998. Handzuš played for the St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and the Chicago Blackhawks, with whom he won the Stanley Cup with in 2013.
Handzuš, nicknamed "Zeus," was drafted 101st overall in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues, playing with them for two-and-a-half seasons from 1998–99 to 2000–01. The Blues' line of Pavol Demitra, Ľuboš Bartečko and Handzuš were known as the "Slovak Pack" line. Handzuš finished second in voting for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL's top defensive-forward, following the 1999–2000 season.
Handzuš was traded on 13 March 2001, along with Ladislav Nagy, Jeff Taffe and two first-round draft picks, to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Keith Tkachuk. Handzuš then spent two seasons with Phoenix.
On 12 June 2002, Handzuš was traded along with Robert Esche to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Brian Boucher and a third-round draft pick. On 5 December 2002, he became only the second player in NHL history to score a penalty shot goal in overtime. In the 2003–04 season, he finished second on the Flyers with 58 points and later signed a three-year contract extension with Philadelphia during the ensuing off-season. During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, he played for the HKm Zvolen, which reached the playoff finals in the Slovak Extraliga.
On 4 August 2006, Handzuš was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Kyle Calder. Only eight games into his season with Chicago, however, Handzuš suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which sidelined him for the remainder of the 2006–07 season.
On 2 July 2007, Handzuš signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings.
On 1 July 2011, Handzuš signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the San Jose Sharks. During the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season, on 1 April 2013, Handzuš was traded back to Chicago in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick.
On 24 June 2013, Handzuš and the Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins 3–2 in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals to win the Stanley Cup. In the following off-season, on 5 July, Handzuš re-signed to a one-year contract to remain with the team. On 19 March 2014, he played in his 1,000th career NHL game.
On 28 May 2014, with the Blackhawks facing elimination in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, Handzuš scored a game-winning goal in double-overtime against Los Angeles Kings, the eventual Stanley Cup champions. On 16 June, after the Blackhawks had been eliminated from playoff contention, the team announced that they would not be re-signing Handzuš after the season. He subsequently became an unrestricted free agent on 1 July.
Regular season and playoffs
|1993–94||ŠK Iskra Banská Bystrica||SVK U20||40||23||36||59||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994–95||ŠK Iskra Banská Bystrica||SVK.2||22||15||14||29||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||Iskra Zlatý Bažant Banská Bystrica||SVK U20||6||6||7||13||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||Iskra Zlatý Bažant Banská Bystrica||SVK||19||3||1||4||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|1996–97||HC ŠKP PS Poprad||SVK||44||15||18||33||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|1998–99||St. Louis Blues||NHL||66||4||12||16||30||11||0||2||2||8|
|1999–00||St. Louis Blues||NHL||81||25||28||53||44||7||0||3||3||6|
|1999–2000||St. Louis Blues||NHL||36||10||14||24||12||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||82||7||14||21||45||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||82||18||24||42||32||—||—||—||—||—|
|2009–10||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||81||20||22||42||38||6||3||2||5||4|
|2010–11||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||82||12||18||30||20||6||1||1||2||0|
|2011–12||San Jose Sharks||NHL||67||7||17||24||18||2||0||0||0||0|
|2012–13||HC ’05 Banská Bystrica||SVK||15||9||10||19||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||San Jose Sharks||NHL||28||1||1||2||12||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014–15||HC ’05 Banská Bystrica||SVK||22||7||11||18||16||18||3||9||12||2|
|2015–16||HC ’05 Banská Bystrica||SVK||40||12||16||28||36||15||1||6||7||12|
|2016–17||HC ’05 Banská Bystrica||SVK||10||1||5||6||27||15||4||6||10||4|
Awards and achievements
This is the list of achievements of Michal Handzuš: